Artis Divina - Where Artists find ways to follow God

Monday, January 09, 2006

Artists are Missionaries of the Beautiful


This note I wrote, because I am drawn to Beauty and God, and am fascinated when they come together. I also enjoy the poetry of St. John of the Cross, a 15th C. Spanish Monk, whose relationship with God was really very good, and something that I would like to emulate in my life.

“One day, St. John of the Cross asked a nun in what her prayers consisted?

She replied,
‘In considering the beauty of God, and in rejoicing that He has such beauty.’

St. John of the Cross was so pleased with this, that for some days he said the most sublime things concerning the beauty of God, at which all marveled.”

- From the introduction of Poems of St. John of the Cross, by Roy Campbell

Then, I continued to meditate on this thought, and wrote:
Prayers, a life of prayer, “considering the beauty of God – and in rejoicing that He has such beauty…”

WOW!!!!! What a subject to pray about!!!

And to have Prayer be about beauty –
And to be in Prayer about this attribute of God ---
This is a powerful thought -- and revolutionary in opening up another line of thinking about God –

*God’s attributes – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Creator, Lover, Beauty-full, Artist

What are the Creative/Artistic attributes of God?
-Designer of the artistic/aesthetic systems
-Love (– it fits in here, because from it springs all else…)

These Creative/ Aesthetic attributes of God are so tremendous to dwell on, to give directees to meditate on, and to teach in workshops, lectures, and other group contexts.

- - - - -

Yesterday, I thought about the movie, “Il Postino”, (The Postman) I thought about how Pablo Neruda, the Argentine poet in exile in 1950’s Italy, helped to open up the person of the village postman – Neruda was a missionary of the creative – He helped the Postman realize the beauty of his place, his village and island, heretofore unnoticed and under-appreciated. The Postman started to perceive beauty anew, where there once was none, but only to his unopened eyes. That’s what I do for my Church. That’s what artists can do in their congregations, they help people “see” the beauty of the hand of God, and the beauty of God himself, by just being there, and pointing it out to them.

And so I come to this conclusion about Artists and their role in the Churches…

***Artists are Missionaries of the Beautiful***

There is much here to talk about to the Church.
We have been given a tremendous opportunity to be missionaries of God's great hand of Creation, to those people who don't seem to be able to take the time to look, and really see.

I just love this quote from the great painter, Georgia O'Keeffe:

“In a way, nobody sees a flower really, it is so small, we haven’t
time --and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”

- Georgia O’Keeffe

Artists are often the only ones who take time to really see. This is a great asset, and if given graciously to the family of our church's congregation, we are able to show them God, through his Hand's creation. This is such a tremendous privilege.... and I'm so excited to be able to give this gift of sight to other people. In this, Artists and Creatives can model the lifestyle of knowing God by taking time to really "see" him, and taking the time to really "listen" in the quiet places.
"--and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”


Blogger Lyn said...

Great article. You're featured in my GodlyCreative Roundup at Bloggin' Outloud. lgp

4:45 AM  

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